Thursday, August 27, 2009

Doing laundry today, packing bags, considering what to take.

My overalls, of course, the neatest pair, with the least amount of paint on them. And some long gypsy skirts and tank tops, to be comfortable in, and a nice dress for the ceremony - I hope to find one today that suits me, but if not, I've got one that will do. I don't expect my wardrobe will be the concern of anyone but me, really, and when I think of all the time I've spent in my life worrying about what to wear, honestly. It vexes me often, my fretting over inconsequentialities.

I've gotten the house ready, am going to try and leave it as clean and happy as possible. My nine year old is all full of preteen melancholy about our upcoming separation; my eight year old will miss me too, but more importantly, she's looking forward to a suitcase full of surprises when I come home. My husband says he and the girls will probably spend much of time relaxing and making messes, and then they'll be tidying up and preparing in a hurry the last day, to be ready for my return.

I don't expect there'll be much of any time for quiet reflection while I'm there. But then I've got my shed to come back to, and the fall still ahead, with cooler weather to fill up with all sorts of projects, as I've come to realize I need the structure and deadlines and challenges posed by projects in order to feel a sense of progress and purpose and accomplishment.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What am I going to wear to my father's wedding?

I take it as quite a good sign that the most important question still to be answered about my upcoming trip has to do with my wardrobe. My father is getting married again, and I'm very happy for him. It'll be an adjustment, that's for certain, but I consider it another layer of love added onto his life, and not in any way a replacement of the love he had with my mother. I was immediately happy when he told me (happy for him) and then after I spoke to him I was hit with a wave of emotion, and cried, and it seemed as if it brought my mother's loss into a finer, closer focus. Or maybe made it new again, fresh hurt. But since then it's been much gentler than I thought it would be, and I'll be there for five days, seeing family I haven't seen in years, and I'll be on my own with my husband and the girls here waiting for me to come home, and I can't wear my overalls to the ceremony, so I suppose I'll have to find some kind of dress.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A rusty old truck, broken glass and a birdhouse. What more could I ask for?

I could have quite happily taken pictures of this old truck for - well. Hours is what I was going to say. Days is probably more accurate. Or years, even. If only I had a rusty old truck of my own to put stuff on, decorate with leaves and spiderwebs and moss, and take pictures of, year after year, in the rain, in the snow, in that almost perfect light in the late afternoon, just after it's rained and everything goes the colour of toffee, but only briefly. I love that light.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Only in America would anyone drive through a tree.

The girls loved it, of course, and my husband thought it was quite cool to be able to drive through a living redwood. I laughed at them (not unkindly) but no-one took offense. And the lady who took our money at the entrance booth was sweet and very welcoming, and you just know we must have been the millionth family to come through and ask the same questions.

This isn't a picture of that tree, of course. It's the side of the car, and the road. The oddest things catch my eye.

Friday, August 7, 2009

We're off to see the redwoods tomorrow, and watch the sun set over the ocean.

The road trip snacks (and some sensible food) have been purchased, the route planned out, the hotel chosen. The girls are excited, my husband's beside himself with excitement (he even bought himself a new wild road trip shirt, a tradition we established years ago) and I'm pleased but mostly consumed with making sure nothing's forgotten, the house is clean, and all batteries, literal and metaphorical, are charged.

So. Tea's made, dishwasher's going, camera and phone are charging, girls are happily reading and playing, and I'm off to the shed to go listen to birds, breathe in the smell of last night's rain, paint a bit, sing a bit, and then it's back inside to boss everyone around and make sure we leave the house smelling sweet and clean and ready to come home to.